WOW. Okay, WOW. A LOT of PLOT happened in episode 8 of tvN's '100 Days My Prince', and I know I began with a similar argument in my last review but like, forget about that. Episode 8 literally just took a big, wet sack labeled PLOT and smacked me upside the head with it, and maybe I did deserve it a little bit with my criticism in the last review. But in general, I don't feel particularly bad about being hit with all this plot. In fact, I'm anxious and excited to unpack it all, and I hope I can do it in a coherent way without my feelings getting too much in the way. Because the FEELS were coming for me in this episode too!
But like definitely guys, of ALL the things that happened in episode 8, the birthday party was SO NOT important. Literally no significance whatsoever.
Alright so we were all in for a shocking surprise from the King, when he decides to take a stand against his head advisor Kim Cha Un this episode! Up until now, we've seen a very powerless, puppet King who took orders from Kim Cha Un and the rest of his advisors like a puppy in front of a treat. But with all the chaos going on in the palace, the King decides to confront Kim Cha Un head on.
Looking good there, King!
Now, the first objective that the King wants to achieve by confronting Kim Cha Un is to prevent the royal advisors from exiling the Queen. In this episode, we find out that the King is deeply scarred from his past actions of abandoning his former wife (the crown prince's mother) to die. As a result, the King wants to do everything he can to prevent the loss of another wife and son. The King even promises that he will declare the princess consort's baby (the princess consort Kim So Hye is Kim Cha Un's daughter) as the crown prince immediately once he's born; however, Kim Cha Un isn't phrased by this promise, not even one bit.
I make evil look soooo easyyyyy.
Now, we all know that Kim Cha Un doesn't care for his daughter. We also know that the princess consort is NOT pregnant with the crown prince Lee Yool (EXO's D.O.), and we have some BIG suspicions about whose baby she's actually carrying (more on that later). So then, the King asks Kim Cha Un a convenient question for us. "What do you want?" Kim Cha Un arrogantly responds that he of course, does not want the title of King. If he wanted it, he would've taken it for himself instead of giving it up to the current King. Kim Cha Un not only orders the King to "wait" while he reflects further on what he wants, but later on in the episode, Kim Cha Un orders the King to basically write up a declaration, stating that the King will resign from his office. Kim Cha Un plans on keeping this declaration in his possession until an "adequate" time. That evil, evil man, basically holds the entire country in his hands, and it ain't pretty.
Do you see how hard my face is struggling not to go over to the dark side!!!!
And as if having the King completely under his command weren't enough, it's really starting to look like our royal police officer Jung Jae Yoon is starting to fall to Kim Cha Un's hands, as well! If I'm interpreting everything from episode 8 correctly, then Jae Yoon ends up handing over the puzzle left to him by the crown prince to Kim Cha Un, before confessing that he wants to serve Kim Cha Un in order to gain power and rank. The cunning Kim Cha Un, who loses his faithful servant Moo Yeon in this same episode, uses his influence over the King to immediately secure a high ranking position for Jae Yoon. The police officer has now become a governing head of Hong Shim (Nam Ji Hyun)'s village, and it will prove as a test of his loyalty to Kim Cha Un.
That hand was TOO realistic, man!
I've mentioned Hong Shim's long-lost brother and Kim Cha Un's servant Moo Yeon several times above, so let's get to his situation now. Thanks to his arrow fiasco in the last episode, Moo Yeon eventually becomes the first character to discover that the crown prince Lee Yool has lost all of his memory, and is currently living as the peasant husband of his sister, Yoon Yi Seo/Hong Shim. Judging by the events of this episode, it can be assumed that Moo Yeon prefers to let the crown prince live with his new identity, rather than killing him off, especially for the sake of his sister. As a result, he delivers a cut off hand of someone who is definitely NOT Lee Yool/Won Deuk to Kim Cha Un, and Kim Cha Un is surprisingly satisfied with it. This finally allows Moo Yeon to be set free from Kim Cha Un's servitude...
WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA, since when were you two like this and that???
But before leaving Kim Cha Un's house, Moo Yeon holds a private talk with the princess consort, Kim So Hye, and man-oh-man, this really heavy mood between them... is is like, ANGST OVERLOAD. So a basic rundown of their talk:
The princess is envious of Moo Yeon, because he "has the option to leave". She wishes him happiness and hands him a parting gift. It's unclear whether or not Moo Yeon accepted this gift.
Moo Yeon, holding back a lot of emotion, congratulates the princess on her pregnancy. But when he turns around, dude, his emotions are just like, flowing out like a huuuuge, tall waterfall. Just look at his face up there.
And then, as Moo Yeon makes to leave, he gets shot in the chest with an arrow. Right there, as the princess is watching. What happened to him after that? We won't find out until next week.
So the real question that we all have to deal with after that REALLY ANGSTY scene between the princess consort and Moo Yeon: are they in love? From the evidence we've seen so far in the series, I can't quite go as far as to call their relationship "love". Their situations are just so completely different for their relationship to ever have any chance of working out. So far, I think the most that I can make of their relationship is something like... they're the only people who can understand and empathize with one another, because they both share really tragic lives, with no choice in what they do or who they marry, and they're both just miserable. Now, I'm gonna be flipping mad if we find out next week that Moo Yeon died from that arrow. Because he literally, can't. No no, that angsty scene was too juicy, and we want more of it!!!
I just can't believe that this drama reviewer didn't mention ME, the MAIN CHARACTER, at all in all those long-a** paragraphs up there.
After all that, we finally come to our two main characters. The wife and husband, Hong Shim and Won Deuk. Hong Shim is battling a big inner struggle after she learns from her adopted father, that Won Deuk is not Won Deuk, but a man her father found on the mountain. She's looking for the best opportunity to tell Won Deuk the truth about his identity.
Meanwhile, Won Deuk has figured out that Hong Shim is formerly from an aristocrat family. However, he decides not to implore into the matter further. Fully convinced that his identity is really Won Deuk, this guy's main focus in episode 8 is... getting his wife to bed with him.
That swing just looks real dangerous.
That's right, the man goes as far as to weave false memories of him as Won Deuk, Hong Shim's "lover", in order to prove to her that his memories have come back, and so they can begin sleeping together. Men and their ways!
But by the end of episode 8, Won Deuk's adorable and devilish plans to get Hong Shim to bed with him, come to an abrupt halt. Hong Shim finally confesses to him that his lost identity, is actually not the peasant Won Deuk. And as D.O. puts on his super serious, super shocked face, episode 8 ends, and the previews kick in.
EXO comeback teaser expression #39, cue!
Thankfully, there was none of the awkward, poorly-timed and organized transitions I mentioned in the last episode, and this episode 8 was just full of a lot of content and fast-paced development that had me invested the entire time. The plot is starting to thicken in ways I never imagined, and I honestly, am really waiting for next week's episodes. So, a bump up in the score for every category below, and please, please don't let Moo Yeon be dead!